Lightning Safety

From PPL Electric Utilities
Summer safety: Lightning

Lightning may be spectacular to watch, but it also can be deadly.

A lightning bolt contains millions of volts of electricity and is hotter than the surface of the sun, so it’s important to be safe.

The National Weather Service says “When thunder roars, go indoors.” We couldn’t agree more. It needs to be a safe, substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up.

A lot of myths exist around lightning. Here are some myths and facts from the NWS to consider.

Myth: If trapped outside during a lightning storm, lie flat on the ground.
Fact: Lying flat just increases your chance of getting hit by potentially deadly ground current. Keep moving toward a safe shelter.

Myth: If there is no rain or clouds, you’re safe from lightning
Fact: Lightning has a long reach. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from a thunderstorm.

Myth: A lightning victim is electrified and you risk electrocution if you touch them.
Fact: The body does not store electricity and it’s perfectly safe to give first aid. Don’t be afraid to come to their aid. You could save their life. However, a lightning strike differs from a situation where someone comes into contact with a live electric line. Touching that person could make you a victim, too. Stay away and call 911.

Joe Nixon
Strategic Communications Manager
PPL Electric Utilities
Allentown, PA 18101

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